Texas Judge Rules Against Confidential Birth Control for Teens

On Tuesday, a judge in Texas ruled that Title X — a federal program providing free, confidential contraception to anyone regardless of age — violates parental rights and state and federal law.

Texas Judge Rules Against Confidential Birth Control for Teens
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Facts

  • On Tuesday, a judge in Texas ruled that Title X — a federal program providing free, confidential contraception to anyone regardless of age — violates parental rights and state and federal law.
  • US District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk didn’t grant an injunction to immediately halt Title X, but this ruling means that, in all likelihood, teenagers will require their parents' permission to obtain health care through the Title X family planning program.
  • The suit was brought by Alexander Deanda, a father of three, and was argued by Jonathan Mitchell, a former Texas solicitor general who wrote the state’s six-week abortion ban. Deanda claimed Title X prevents parents from raising children in accordance with a family’s religious beliefs.
  • Judge Kacsmaryk ruled that the US Dept. of Health and Human Services' running of Title X ran counter to Deanda’s parental rights under state and federal law and violated the father’s rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
  • Pro-choice organizations, including Planned Parenthood and the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, objected to the decision, arguing that it violates a Constitutional right to contraception and will “block a critical pathway to essential health services for young people.”

Sources: FOX News, Texas Tribune, Bloomberg Law, and Daily Wire.

Narratives

  • Right narrative, as provided by Jurist. Under the pretense of protecting minors, Title X impales a political wedge between families, undermining parents' rights to direct the upbringing of their children. The government has no compelling authority to subvert parents and their right to consent, which is just as important as the reproductive health of the minor in question.
  • Left narrative, as provided by Jezebel. There are seemingly no limits to how far Texas officials are willing to go in their assault on reproductive care. With tight abortion restrictions in the state, Title X is an essential source of birth control, and without it, there's no telling the repercussions minors will face.